President Biden has blocked a freight railroad strike that would disrupt shipments of all kinds of goods for at least 60 days by naming a board of arbitrators to intervene in the contract dispute.
The move will keep 115,000 rail workers on the job while the arbitrators develop a set of contract recommendations for both sides to consider. Biden had to act before July 18 to prevent a possible strike. A new round of negotiations is likely after those recommendations are issued.
If the railroads and their 12 unions can’t agree on a contract within the next 60 days, Congress likely would step in to prevent a strike by voting to impose terms or taking other action.
Any prolonged rail strike could cripple the supply chain that has been slowly recovering from the backlogs and delays that became common during the pandemic because of worker shortages at the ports, trucking companies and railroads as demand for imports surged.
The group that represents Union Pacific, BNSF, CSX, Norfolk Southern, Kansas City Southern and other railroads and the unions have expressed optimism that this new presidential board will be able to help them resolve the dispute that began more than two years ago.
Source: Transport Topic News